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Take a long walk. Let yourself get lost.
Why? Because Venice's biggest sightseeing attraction is Venice itself.
Venezia is a remarkable city that was built almost entirely on a chain of 118 islands, using millions of wooden pilings (harvested from forests on the mainland) to support buildings that mostly date from the 1300s through the 1700s.
Venice's street plan is complicated, confusing, and delightful, with a surprise around every corner.
Don't get us wrong: You'll also want to allow time for a handful of "must-see" tourist attractions such as the, , and the .
Visits to theand a museum or two should also be on your agenda if you're in Venice for more than a few days.
If you like churches (or even if you're indifferent), wander into a few churches likeand some of our own favorites: , , , , and .
Chorus Pass to save money on church visits.Buy a
But for the most part, walking without a goal is the best way to enjoy Venice.
Unless you're pressed for time or have a limited capacity for walking, you don't need sightseeing tours. Just enjoy the remarkable urban landscape and see how Venetians live their everyday lives.
(A sightseeing guidebook can be useful; visit thebookstore near the Piazza San Marco or the gift shop in the main Venice tourist office for a good selection.)
Still, if you enjoy guided tours, you can pre-book tours through Viator or (more expensively) hire a private guide.
See our Venice Tours page for suggestions with links.
We also recommend the tours of Gran Teatro La Fenice (Venice's opera house), the Grand Canal palazzo headquarters of Ca' Foscari University, and the historic synagogues in the Ghetto).
We recommend taking the Linea Uno (No. 1) public water bus from Piazzale Roma to San Marco or beyond, preferably in late evening when the daytrippers have gone home and you can see the interiors of luxurious palazzi as you cruise up the Grand Canal. For details, see: Vaporetto Line 1 (Grand Canal)
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